Saturday Evening Post #81 : On Stranger Tides

“In the rush to return to normal,
use this time to consider
which parts of normal
are worth rushing back to.” – Dave Hollis

Greetings from, The Doona Hermit Headquarters.

Title is a take from a “Pirates of the Caribbean” movie. (Tells you I’ve had little to do with my Lock-Down time;-) )

We all sit twiddling our self-isolated thumbs awaiting our fate. 
Mind, just as well today, as we literally have had about 10 seasons in the one day.  I walked early, and got wet, then the sun came out. Then it rained. And, as I write, the rain is pelting down on the patio, looks more like small hail as it scatters over the tiles. It must be bad, as Tai Chi pigeon, and friend, are sitting under the patio table to keep out of the wind and the rain.  EE and I often measure the severity of the weather by how many doves fit under the table.  “Oh, it’s a real three pigeon-under-the-table storm out there.” etc.

I have, it seems just about run out of current photos for sharing. I’m sure someone is going to say, “If I see another Black-shouldered Kite with mouse shot…”

In a bid of desperation, and to find something to do, I went on-line and purchased a new iPad Air the other week. My old, old, old, version 1 model 1 iPad hasn’t been able to keep up with the technology changes for several years, and I had sort of retired it to reading magazines, books and checking the weather.
I remember well the day, as I proudly opened the package, when it first arrived. 
I’d ordered one as soon as they were announced way back in 2010, BCV   (Before Corona Virus)
Mind, I had been sold on the idea since a keynote speech Steve Jobs had delivered nearly 10 years before, saying, :

What we want to do is we want to put an incredibly great computer in a book that you can carry around with you and learn how to use in 20 minutes … and we really want to do it with a radio link in it so you don’t have to hook up to anything and you’re in communication with all of these larger databases and other computers.” 

You’d have loved to have had the frequent flyer points my little iPad racked up.  EE used it for client presentations to magazine editors, I even wrote a few articles with it, I used it to teach at Box Hill TAFE for awhile, and it even at one stage using an app called ImageSmith, talked to the Lightroom database to access images. But, technology moved on, and without the bells and bluetooth whistles, it will now be another paperweight on an already crowded desk.
I started this blog on the new Air, and then moved back to the desktop to retrieve the Falcon shot. Haven’t had time to set it all up to sync properly yet.  More to do.

A few exciting reports have come in from people who’ve had good views of Flame and Scarlet Robins in various places, so it might be that the bush birds have indeed had a good summer breeding session and we might have some opportunities soon to get to know them.  The fine wet weather will have enriched the favoured moss beds which should be in good condition and well stocked with food I expect. Also prolific this year seems to be a small salt-bush that has rich red berries.   The insects feeding on the carotene laden fruit will no doubt provide plenty of bright red feather material for the robins.

So, we wait for what shall indeed seem “Stranger Tides”, to take us back into the field.

Here is one of the last views we had of the young Brown Falcon from Cassia-of Cinnamon’s clutch.
It had been sitting on the fence in the open, and flew up the fenceline among the surrounding bracken, to find a thermal that was rising from an open sandy area.—I don’t think it was an accidental discovery, I’m sure it knew exactly where the air was rising.

It swung round, picked up speed and gradually began to rise. 

This might look like a tight hardworking turn, but in reality its probably not using any energy at all, as the thermal is doing all the work over the wings.
I waited until it made the circle, and then turned in my direction, I wanted the sunlight running over the face and the body, and it straightened out just a little at the right moment.
It gained height very quickly and then sailed away across the paddock to disappear in the distance.

Time will tell if it is still hunting in the area.

I hope you’ve all been safe over the past few weeks. Also hope that the time has given you a chance to refuel the creative batteries and as D Hollis suggests, are ready to ‘rush back to things worthwhile.’


One of Scomo’s Donna Hermits.

For the technically ept, this was shot on the D500 with the Auto-Area autofocus selected. Canon—Automatic AF Point Selection. It’s the “point and shoot” mode really.  Mostly ignored by those of us with scorn for such things automatic.
I’d been messing with the setting a few times the past few trips, and find that it can indeed pick out an inflight bird against the sky first time, everytime.  Not so hot among the scrub and trees, but, I was working on that.




6 thoughts on “Saturday Evening Post #81 : On Stranger Tides

  1. Indeed, it is time to sit and cogitate and determine which are the worthwhile activities to ‘rush’ back to! Must admit that I am hoping the Premier will, on Monday, allow us to wander the sites to see the birds. Other than that life has remained the same but different. News stories still need to be covered and editing is done at home instead of the channel, ditto for the news broadcasts.
    A fine image of the Brown in flight! The flight attitude is perfect and you have captured the searching gaze wonderfully!
    Sure has been a varied day weather-wise 17° and dry when I woke to wet and cold then sunny then ……!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. G,day, I think some work practices will indeed change. And I think that will be to the good of those whose work is logically able to be done locally. I used to work across SE Asia, but most of the important stuff was done in coffee shops or airport lounges on a tiny little Toshiba Libretto, heeeyy, it ran Photosshop5.5 whoo hoo.
      Might see you down at the Lane early in the week?


  2. A bit more “out and about” with the birds would be just so good after this time. Let’s hope that we can do a bit more but still stay safe.

    Thank you for sharing the beautiful shot of this handsome Falcon.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Excellent capture David and such perfect detail all in focus, the auto mode did you well in this shot. I am hoping to get my camera back Friday, as they had to order another part, so it took another week. Your weather sounds very classic Victorian to us new south welshmen, as is having a pigeon under porch table rating to score the intensity of your storm, all quite unique use of birds. We are itching to get down to Victoria this year, possibly in Spring, having missed our main holiday for the year and renovating. We will see how it all pans out, for the quote is a good one, yes what parts of normal do we want to maintain and what new normals do we want to include? I can see many blessings coming out of all this pandemicamonia 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Hi Ashley,
      Truly sad part is we have had a few classic rich sunny mornings, and clear evenings that make the light dance and sing. Don’t get that many so watching them drift by hasn’t been so exciting. 🙂

      I was a bit horrified to see the news, and the flocks of people, nay, the stampedes of people hustling and bustling to get into the shopping centres. It’s like all restraints thrown off and the work of the past few weeks is ingnored.

      Personally it will take a lot to get me back into the shopping mall mentality. 🙂

      Liked by 2 people

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